FCA goes natural with CNG fleet

FCA Transport, the fleet of tractor trailers owned by FCA US that hauls parts from suppliers and to assembly plants, is going green. By converting its 179 trucks from diesel to compressed natural gas, CO2 emissions will drop by 16,000 tons per year based on the cumulative 16 million miles the fleet covers annually. That is roughly equivalent to the yearly energy use of 1,500 homes, the same as not burning more than 17 million pounds of coal.

FCA says rolling out the largest CNG-powered truck fleet in Michigan took two years to execute and a $40-million investment, including $5 million to build the largest private CNG station on the continent. It also required the assistance of Cummins, Allison Transmission, and Agility Fuel Systems. There is an upside for FCA Transport in all of this: the company estimates fuel savings of 35 percent from not having to buy 2.6 million gallons of diesel every year. It's probably no coincidence that this announcement comes as world leaders tackle the same problems at the Paris Climate Change Conference. The press release below has more.

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FCA US Launches Largest Private Fleet of Natural Gas-Powered Semitrucks in the State of Michigan

- Company announces $40 million investment in Detroit to convert 179 parts-hauling trucks to compressed natural gas (CNG)
- Investment includes facility and infrastructure upgrades and the installation of the largest private CNG fueling station in North America
- Fleet's transition to CNG will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 16,000 tons per year

December 4, 2015 , Detroit - FCA US LLC announced today that it has invested $40 million in FCA Transport, the FCA US-owned truck fleet, to convert its 179 Detroit-based parts-haulers to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) rather than traditional diesel. The move gives FCA the largest private fleet of CNG-powered heavy-duty vehicles in the state of Michigan.

"Our transition to CNG reflects the way FCA US attempts to balance our search for profitability with social responsibility and community development, including environmental stewardship," said Steve Beahm, Senior Vice President – Supply Chain Management, FCA – North America. "This project was a win-win-win – it offered a solid business case, clear environmental benefits and an opportunity to invest in our Detroit facility and workforce."

FCA Transport, built in 1965, is located on Lynch Road in Detroit, just across from the Detroit City Airport. The Company spent $1.8 million to enable the 36,000-square-foot maintenance facility to handle the new CNG-powered fleet. The $5 million on-site CNG fueling station, designed and built by TruStar Energy, is the largest private CNG station in North America.

Prior to the changeover, the FCA Transport Detroit fleet used nearly 2.6 million gallons of diesel fuel per year while driving about 16 million miles to deliver parts to assembly plants from suppliers and FCA US component facilities. The company expects to experience net fuel cost savings of about 35 percent per year with the CNG-powered fleet.

Beyond cost savings, FCA Transport estimates the Detroit fleet's transition to CNG will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 16,000 tons per year. This decrease is equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions that come from burning more than 17 million pounds of coal, or the reduction of CO2 emissions from the annual energy use of nearly 1,500 homes.

FCA Transport's transformation is a product of our dedicated, engaged workforce and close collaboration with the UAW," said Marty DiFiore, Head of FCA Transport and Auto Transport Services, FCA US. "Today is the culmination of two years of research and planning, an extensive pilot program of CNG trucks and ongoing training of more than 6,000 hours."

FCA Transport drivers and mechanics participated in extensive hands-on training to prepare them to drive, fuel and maintain the new trucks. It included maintenance, repair and operating courses taught by Cummins, Allison Transmission, Agility Fuel Systems and FCA's own in-house trainers.

FCA US has a history of being a pioneer in the area of CNG. The Ram 2500 Compressed Natural Gas truck is the industry's first factory-built pickup powered by CNG, offering fleet and commercial customers the cost and emissions benefits of this domestically sourced fuel.

FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.

FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol "FCA."

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